Motorola appoints new mobile device head

Motorola has appointed Qualcomm executive Sanjay Jha to head its flailing mobile phone business. Jha, who’s been with Qualcomm for 14 years, has been credited with “growing Qualcomm into the No. 1 wireless semiconductor supplier,” and apparently Motorola hopes he’ll be up to the challenge of turning the tables at its handset unit. Following the success of the Razor, Motorola has been struggling to make a positive impression on the mobile phone market, slipping to third place globally, with fourth place handset maker LG steadily gaining on its lead.

Since Greg Brown took over at Motorola and showed several top executives the door, the company has been searching for a new head of the mobile device unit, with rumors that some top candidates have refused the challenge. The job has become particularly important as the company still seems to be planning to split in two sometime next year. Jha will report directly to Motorola’s board. Board Chairman David Dorman said in a statement:

“Sanjay’s technical expertise and industry experience make him ideally suited to lead mobile devices.”

Brown, as co-CEO will continue to run Motorola’s newly realigned wireless entertainment and public-safety units.